A man called me a few months ago and said he was getting married soon and wanted to meet with me about photographing his wedding. He said he and his fiance “loved” the photographs on my web site.
His deep, gravelly voice said: “The pictures are everything”. I figured him for a lifelong smoker.
I was wrong.
His name was Randy and he told me that it was to be a very small, private wedding. There was not going to be a videographer and none of the guests would be taking photographs.
“The pictures are everything”, he said again.
We set up an appointment to meet at his home. It was just a few miles from my own.
I knocked on his door at exactly noon. The door swung open, a massive man of a man walked out, extended his baseball mitt-sized hand and said, “Hi, I’m Randy.”
“I know who you are,” I said.
He didn’t acknowledge my comment, but invited me in and introduced me to his lovely fiance, Lynn. They offered me a drink. I accepted. Randy went to get it.
“That IS Macho Man Randy Savage, isn’t it,”? I whispered to Lynn. She said yes.
Now, for the first time in a very long time of meeting clients and potential clients, I was nervous.
He wasn’t the first celebrity I’ve ever met, but he was the first international celebrity who wanted me to photograph his wedding. I had photographed HSN’s Lynn Murphy’s wedding last year, but had known her as a friend for a few years, so it wasn’t the same. Plus, HSN is only shown in the USA.
Macho Man Randy Savage was an internationally-known professional wrestler and celebrity.
This day, and every other day we met for planning sessions and talked on the phone, he was just Randy. He wanted nothing more than to have incredible wedding photographs for his bride.
“The pictures are everything”.
The wedding was planned for Lido Beach in Sarasota at 7:15pm, about one hour before sunset.
Beach weddings can be dangerous affairs. You have to be concered about storms moving in, high winds, overeager, pasty-white beachgoers creeping into your shot and bright sunshine that makes the couple squint or have harsh shadows on them. The latter is always my biggest concern and I shared that with Lynn and Randy.
“The pictures are everything.”
They meant it too. They empowered me to direct the location of the setup of the bamboo trellis so it wouldn’t be directly backlit by the setting sun. They trusted me to help choose the correct time of day to minimize the harsh sunshine.
They gave me everything I needed to capture the beauty, romance, emotion and incredible moments of the day.
Most of all, they gave me themselves.
Their reception was to be a sit-down affair inside the glorious Lido Beach Resort. The pair had met near there many years ago and wanted to return to that site to seal their union.
The room was lit only by candles, as Lynn had requested.
Most of the reception photos were shot by that candlelight, allowing the glamor and mood to remain, enhance and maintain the dignity of the event.
Macho Man Randy Savage didn’t attend the ceremony. He wasn’t even invited.
It was very clear that this wedding was no different than any other union. Lynn was the focal point.
One of the first things they did after seeing their photographs was to place an order for a 24 x 36″ canvas wrap for over their piano. I was incredibly flattered to have something that large being placed as one of the focal points of their home.
Randy reminded me that during our first meeting I had gotten a little cocky and said to them that one of my goals was to replace the large art print that was then hanging over the piano with one of their wedding photographs. Success.
“The pictures are everything”.
I completely agree.
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